It started with a Hammond….

I don’t remember who wanted it: mom or dad….but there it was one Christmas morning when I was about seventeen. A Hammond R full console concert organ with built-in drum machine, chimes, even brushes and cymbals!  I had never taken piano, voice or any other kind of music lessons, and other than music class in school, had never really been involved in “MUSIC!”

But, I started playing the Hammond.  I learned on my own, learning chord structure, taught myself to read music (at least the treble clef) and…..I liked it!  I made friends with the distributor and he taught me some tricks….and within a year I was playing three times a week for a Pentacostal church, and then started playing in clubs.  It was in one of those that I met DH, a self-taught drummer.

We dated for a year, then married, and thirty-one years later, we are still playing together.  In the intervening years we have been members of “Free and Easy,”  “Thunder Mountain Railroad,” “SNAC Attack Band,” and now, “Faith Alive Band.”

Somewhere back in the beginning, I also joined the church choir, and learned to sing a mean alto part, but there weren’t enough men in the choir, so I recruited DH.  He had NEVER sung in public, did not read music and was quite anxious about it, but Vicky and Dan, the choir directors were patient and encouraging, and he learned.

We produced one son: Steve, who, as a 4 year old, climbed onto the piano bench and picked out the melody of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. He was quicky started on piano lessons–and though he learned quickly and played beautifully, he was quite reticent about performing. In 1993 we moved to Reno. The New Age music scene was at full tilt, and George Winston was the media darling.  One night I was woken by the sound of  a piano playing. It sounded like Winston, and I couldn’t imagine who had left the radio on loud enough to suddenly wake me.  I opened the bedroom door, and down the hall saw DS sitting at the piano, playing the song HE, not Winston, had composed. “The Sound of Mom’s Dream” is down there on my playlist….

What is the point of all my rambling?  I was in church Sunday morning. I was the assistant minister, responsible for chanting and leading the congregation in its responses. At the offeratory, DH and I sang with the choir to perform an anthem.  Choir rehearsal followed the first service, and then he and I played and sang with our band, “Faith Alive” to lead the second service. In the car on the way home, Garrison Keilor was singing with the “Guy’s All Star Shoe Band,” and I sang along.

I was struck by the degree in which music is part and parcel of my life-and not only mine, but by extension, also my family’s life. And I want to say a belated thank you to whichever one wanted that silly organ-mom or dad…..